As we approach the final review of the 5G-LOGINNOV project, it is time to delve into its enduring impact, revealing valuable insights and visionary recommendations proposed.
The primary aim of the project was to optimise freight and traffic operations at ports through the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies, including 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, and Cooperative, Connected, and Automated Mobility (CCAM). The innovative solutions developed within the project underwent testing in Living Lab environments across three prominent European ports—Athens, Hamburg, and Koper. This holistic approach addressed a range of technological and societal challenges specific to ports, with a focus on achieving key project objectives such as port automation, real-time data generation concerning floating trucks and emissions, and the implementation of automated truck platooning.
The ERTICO-coordinated project contributed to the development of several recommendations and two position papers. The former are stemming from 5G-LOGINNOV’s lessons learned, while the latter highlight recommended actions. These contributions are in particular discussing respectively the approaches to ensure the priority rollout of 5G networks (“Actions to ensure the priority rollout of 5G networks on EU hinterland and port areas”) and how to advance AI applications (“Actions to enhance research, development and deployment of AI applications”) resulting in a joint study with the 5GMETA project.
Starting from the applied methodology, the first step consisted of gathering inputs from the partners to understand the challenges faced during the deployment phase of the project through internal workshops and a comprehensive questionnaire. Secondly, workshops and interviews with external stakeholders were held to finalise the process. The targeted stakeholders were members of the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP), the Alliance for Logistic Innovation and Collaboration in Europe (ALICE), the European Partnership on Connected Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM), and the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF).
Recommendations to ensure the priority rollout of 5G networks in the EU hinterland and port areas
From the first paper emerged a series of actions to ensure the priority rollout of 5G networks in the EU hinterland and port areas, the key actions involve strengthening technical and data requirements of the infrastructure, prioritising training and capacity building and ensuring equipment availability along the supply chain. Acting on the technical and data requirements involves implementing the OCIT Standard Data Protocol for Equipment Across EU Ports, fostering the collaboration between mobile network operators and transportation authorities, and prioritising low-latency performance through streamlined regulatory processes. In parallel, focusing on training and capacity building becomes paramount for the efficient implementation of 5G technologies. Specialized programmes, a dedicated fund for research and development, and an inventory of best practices collectively contribute to the development of expertise and the creation of a skilled workforce. Lastly, guaranteeing the equipment’s availability along the supply chain is imperative. Strengthening the IoT market for industrial-grade solutions, fostering collaboration, and establishing industry-wide standards would ensure a reliable and diversified supply chain, addressing challenges faced during the 5G-LOGINNOV project developments. Together, these recommendations form a robust framework for advancing 5G deployment, driving innovation, and fostering sustainable growth in port and hinterland ecosystems.
In parallel, part of the effort to effectively disseminate these recommendations was to identify the relevant stakeholders to address. The suggested key recommendations address different logistic industry stakeholders such as shippers, transport companies (carriers), forwarders, industry, terminal and hub operators, and technology providers, also public authorities at the local, regional, and national levels; policy makers; telecommunication operators and suppliers; research and universities; and standardization organizations.
An example of the complexity of the impact of these recommendations is that the technical and data requirements that involve implementing the OCIT Standard Data Protocol for Equipment Across EU Ports is specifically addressed to national authorities, policy makers at the European and Member State levels, to the industry (operators), as well as to telecom operators and suppliers and finally to standardisation organisations. And again, the recommendation on capacity building and awareness initiatives addresses the public authorities at the local, regional, and national levels, and the policy makers at the EU and Member State level, with the collaboration of the industry (shippers, transport companies and forwarders, terminal and hub operators).
A full detailed list of the targeted stakeholders for each recommendation developed is available in Deliverable 4.4 Lessons learned and recommendations for stakeholders.
Recommendations to enhance research, development, and deployment of AI applications
On the other hand, the joint 5GMETA/5G-LOGINNOV paper “Actions to enhance research, development, and deployment of AI applications” proposes recommendations, suggesting to enhance research, development, and deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. This remarks the relevance of continued investment in Research and Development (R&D), open-source initiatives, ethical guidelines, data sharing practices, standards, interoperability, and collaborative solutions to regulatory and administrative challenges. Continuous investment in R&D is key, requiring continued government funding and incentives for collaborative projects involving public and private entities and academic institutions. Secondly, stimulating open-source initiatives is essential to emphasise the active promotion and financial support of diverse open-source AI projects. This approach not only fosters innovation but also creates a centralised platform for collaboration, streamlining knowledge-sharing. Additionally, the establishment of ethical guidelines is essential, providing a foundational framework for responsible AI development aligned with societal values. The guidelines must evolve alongside technological advancements and address issues such as privacy, bias, and transparency. Lastly, advocating for data sharing practices, while respecting privacy, is a must. Open access to comprehensive datasets fuels AI research, incentivising innovation and robust algorithms for real-world applications. These recommendations collectively form a strategic roadmap for the responsible and collaborative advancement of AI technologies.
Certainly, investment in R&D should come from public authorities at all levels and industry, with research and academic institutions supporting it. Furthermore, guidelines and legislative efforts should also come from a collaborative standpoint between the industry, research institutions and universities, and public authorities.
These collaborative efforts of the 5G-LOGINNOV project have certainly yielded valuable insights from the project experiences and recommendations for advancing AI applications and ensuring the priority rollout of 5G networks. By addressing technological, infrastructure, regulatory, administrative, capacity building and ethical issues, these recommendations contribute to the ongoing evolution of Europe’s transport and logistics landscape, paving the way for more connected, efficient, and sustainable transport in the future.
In conclusion, the noteworthy contributions of this ERTICO-coordinated initiative to the advancement of this highly technological field reflect the efforts of driving innovation, enhancing efficiency, and fostering sustainable growth in port and hinterland ecosystems.